Is good grammar really important? Should writers adhere to the rules of grammar? Views on this vary. Some say that grammar isn’t all that important, it’s what you write that’s important. If writers start thinking about the rules, they’ll lose track of what they’re writing and mess the whole thing up. Another view is that English is an evolving language, so grammar shouldn’t be given so much importance. Those who do believe in good grammar say that good grammar is good writing (and vice versa). If the grammar is bad, then so is the writing. How can anyone consider an essay or an article with grammatical errors a good essay or article?
My personal view on this is a little mixed. In other words, in some cases good grammar is important, and in others, rules may be broken. Here’s why –
In non-fiction writing, good grammar is extremely essential. This is because when a writer writes non-fiction, he/she is giving readers facts and information. If this information is badly written, then who is going to read it? Who is going to believe in the information given? The reaction here is bound to be “What does he/she know?” So, for a piece of non-fiction to be authoritative, adhering to the rules of grammar is extremely important.
Fiction writing is a little different. Besides the story itself, there are characters and dialogues. Characters are supposed to represent humans, and humans are of all types. There are those who speak proper English, and those who don’t. So, if a character is one who doesn’t speak proper English, then the kind of language that the character speaks will have to be used in his/her dialogues. Otherwise the portrayal of the character will not be effective. So, what does this say about good grammar and fiction writing? It says that in fiction writing, grammatical rules may only be broken in dialogues in order to bring out the true character that the writer wishes to portray.
What are your thoughts on this? Is good grammar important for writers, or can he/she break rules?